The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Shipra: The Remover of Jvara which is chapter 49 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the forty-ninth chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 49 - Śiprā: The Remover of Jvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: To glorify the river Śiprā an imaginary fight between Siva and Viṣṇu is described. And their final missiles “Jvaras” clash with each other only to be submerged and extinguished into the Śiprā river. Hence Śiprā is ‘Jvaraghnī’ (vide vv 19 41). The fight between Hari and Hara for the sake of Bāṇāsura has some basis in the Harivaṃśa but no Śiprā river is mentioned therein.

Sanatkumāra said:

1. Thus, O Vyāsa, this beautiful city exists eternally. How it came to be known in the different Yugas has been explained by me, O sinless one.

Vyāsa said:

2-6. O most excellent one among those who know Brahman, I wish to know further the sacred and meritorious story of Śiprā, destructive of sins.

The beautiful Kuṇḍa Piśācamocana has been described. Nīlagaṅgā and Karkarāja mentioned thereafter, all the Puṣkaras (holy lakes), the excellent Gayā Tīrtha, Gomatī Kuṇḍa and the lake named Dharmasaraḥ [Dharmasaras?], the Tīrtha arising from the confluence and the story of the birth of Śani—all these have been described, I wish to know what happened at Cyavana’s hermitage as well as at the splendid abode of Nāgas as also the greatness of Puruṣottama. What will happen, how and at what time as well as whatever you have in (your) mind (may be described).

Sanatkumāra said:

7. Listen, O illustrious Vyāsa, to the story that is extremely destructive of sins. I shall mention what event happened in the splendid Mahākālavana.

8. O dear one, in the whole earth there is no river equal to Śiprā on the banks of which one gets salvation in an instant. What to say if it is resorted to for a long time!

9-10. It is born in Vaikuṇṭha as Śiprā; in heaven it is Jvaraghnī (‘remover of the evil spirit Jvara’). In Mahādvāra it is Pāpaghnī (‘remover of sins’); in Pātāla it is Amṛtasambhavā (‘born of nectar’). In Vārāha Kalpa it is known by the name Viṣṇudehā (‘Viṣṇu’s body’). Śiprā, is well-known in Avantī as born of Kāmadhenu.

Vyāsa said:

11. O excellent sage, this is a mysteriously wonderful thing mentioned by you. It behoves you to recount the splendid story of Śiprā succinctly.

Sanatkumāra said

12-18. Holding the skull of Brahmā, Mahādeva, the pure soul, wandered everywhere in all the worlds for the sake of alms. The Lord did not get alms. Seeking alms he went to Vaikuṇṭha. Wandering here and there, he went there at the time (prescribed for offering) of hospitality. Hungry in the course of many days, he became angry and engaged himself in censuring the whole world. “O holy Sir, I am hungry and have practised (yogic) concentration. Give the alms.” He said thus again and again holding the skull.

Hari said, “O Hara, let the aims be taken. I shall give it to you.” After saying so, he raised his hand and placed his index finger (in the skull). At that time Rudra became inflamed and excited. Angrily he struck (the finger) with his trident. Much blood flowed out of the finger then. With that the vessel held by Śaṅkara in his hand became full. It overflowed and the current passed in all directions. At that spot Śiprā manifested herself arising from the flow of blood.

19-22. That river in Vaikuṇṭha became quickly one sanctifying all the three worlds. Thus Śiprā, the most excellent of all rivers, became well-known in all the three worlds.

How it came to be called Jvaraghnī, I shall explain, O Vyāsa:

The leader of the Daityas named Bāṇa having teased and contemptuously insulted Aniruddha, fought with Kṛṣṇa in a battle. The herioc Asura held various kinds of weapons in his thousand hands. Hence Vāsudeva became very angry. He quickly seized his discus and (sparing Bāṇa’s two hands) cut off his thousand arms with that fast-moving weapon with sharp edge.

23. The demon then became afflicted with wounds. All his hope and ambitions became shattered when his arms were cut off. He turned away (from the battle) and sought refuge in Śaṅkara.

24-29. On seeing the frightened Mahā Daitya approaching him, O Vyāsa, Maheśvara became overwhelmed with compassion. He came to the place where the angry Kṛṣṇa of mighty arms was standing unmoved after cutting off the thousand arms of the king of Daityas in the course of the battle. The excellent Kṛṣṇa, the destroyer of enemy’s army, stood there like a mountain. Maheśvara came there. He tried to restrain Kṛṣṇa by showering him with volleys of arrows.

Pitted against each other, they fought a terrible battle by means of terrifying weapons and missiles that frightened all living beings.

With a desire to kill Hara, Kṛṣṇa directed (discharged) a missile with Viṣṇu as deity. Śaṃbhu who was eager to take away the life of Kṛṣṇa held up the missile named Pāśupata that could destroy all. A great tumultuous cry arose and was heard in all the worlds.

30. Again Kṛṣṇa discharged the Mohanāstra (enchanting, depriving consciousness) upon Śiva. Due to that missile, Śaṃbhu became enchanted by the divine Māyā.

31-34. For some time he remained in the battlefield yawning and writhing frequently. When in that great battle Rudra regained consciousness, Maheśvara-Jvara (the evil spirit of fever pertaining to Maheśvara) was created by him who became overwhelmed with fury. Immediately the exceedingly powerful Vīrabhadra issued forth from his forehead. He was short in stature with three heads and three eyes. He had the shape of a goat with three legs. Though he was insignificant in size, he had matted hairs and had smeared his body with ash. He was a great ailment, very difficult to overcome. Dispatched by Mahādeva, he approached the army of Kṛṣṇa and harassed and tormented all the living beings connected with Kṛṣṇa.

35. Afflicted by the onslaught of Jvara, O Vyāsa, the army under the protection of Kṛṣṇa became shattered suddenly. It turned away its face from the battle.

36-41. On seeing his army in that plight, yawning and writhing on being afflicted by sickness by the Jvara of Maheśa with all hopes and ambitions shattered, Kṛṣṇa created the Vaiṣṇava Tāpa (Jvara pertaining to Viṣṇu) with his fury excessively aroused. A great and terrific battle ensued between the Jvaras of Viṣṇu and Maheśvara. After fighting for a long time, the Jvara pertaining to Maheśvara became hit and split. Fleeing in all the worlds, he could not get peace and rest. Afflicted by it (the Jvara of Viṣṇu) Maheśvara Jvara reached the beautiful Mahākālavana. He immersed himself in Śiprā and hence attained great peace. On seeing the ferocious Jvara of Maheśvara quiescent the Vaiṣṇava Jvara too came to Śiprā and immersed himself therein. Due to its power, the two Jvaras issuing from Hari and Hara perished.

42-45. Hence it became instantly known as Jvaraghnī

(remover of fever) for all time. Persons afflicted with fever and experiencing great misery come to Śiprā, O Vyāsa, and plunge into it in morning with great concentration. They are never afflicted with feverish pain. Then, O Vyāsa, this fact was told by Hari, Hara and Brahmā.

If men listen to this divine story with concentrated mind, they need not be afraid at all of the heat of fever.

Footnotes and references:


The word ‘Rajendra’ here shows that the verse is a quotation as the word is irrelevant in this context.


Probably a quotation. ‘Bharata’ is irrelevant here.

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